Scatter, route, dispel, disband. (my brain is fried)
The word I need is not at hand. (it doesn’t come up, tho I’ve tried and tried)
It’s not convene, call in, recall. (I can’t remember the word at all)
The word is gone, like leaves in the Fall. (I’ll keep trying, but my effort’s amiss)
It comes from Latin. Something like “dis” . . . (a bummer to try and fail like this)
Without it I can’t say what I want to say. (Hmmm. Perhaps I should stop. And shop. Or play?)
So, instead of my pen, I’ll pick up my purse. And I’ll shop, instead of struggling with verse.
Aha! I remember! (the rhyme’s the thing)
The word’s “disperse!” (now if I could just remember why I needed . . . . . . . . . it.)
Now you see why I write suspense and adventure stories! I’m looking at the letter’s and notes I’ve received, from Mary Higgins Clark, First Lady Laura Bush, and Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Powers. So what if I stink at poetry . . . we all have our strengths and weaknesses! annrichduncan.com
So the other day I was looking at a VanGogh. Well, not the real thing . . . some of his most famous works were in a how-to book about painting. I’ve never really been a fan, until I was told I should study the master’s brush strokes. And pit them against the subject matter. Huh? Well, after a lot of coaxing and coaching, I began to realize his paintings are like the human condition. The subjects? Usually quaint, harmless, peaceful things. The brush strokes? Almost violent—like so many people who seem easy going on the outside, but are quivering with so much on the inside, be it anger, love, excitement, or disappointment. Makes you want to look really close. But, when I look at my work — the writing I mean — I seem to have it in the opposite. Take John Victor’s adventures. Based on murder, greed and devious plots; but, as my hero muddles through the puzzles, you see humor, love, and faith . . . and even some enlightening facts (after all, I love to research the flora, fauna and history of the sites). Mostly typical (but fun) suspense stuff, though. Anyhow, I’m puzzling right now about my nephew Scotty’s trip to Alaska to visit the “real” John Victor. Beautiful scenery. Exciting gold hunting. Fun stuff. But Alaska? It’s quivering with extremes . . . and danger. Hmmm. I wonder what I can do to Scotty’s tales? Not familiar with John Victor? Check him out at my website: www.annrichduncan.com. Check out Johnny Vic while you’re at it! And stay tuned for Scotty’s Alaskan Adventures!
Yes, I know. I haven’t tapped the keys much lately. These fingers have been busy, tho. Like tonight, at 11:45 pm, racing to finish cleaning the seven-thousand dollar airplane parts — pulling off the masking tape with miniature grappline hook, scraping with a file, wiping with icy acetone, then running it under the rubber wire brush. Each run of the brush sounds like the high pitched skrish of sleet on a windshield. Skrish? Huh, it’s not in the dictionary. I guess I’ve made a new word. Amazing my brain still works, since I was up until 4:30 AM last night, dealing with a dog who’s face got sprayed by a skunk. Yikes. No wonder I haven’t been writing much. I’d rather be skrishing airplane blades, even now as the skunk still offends my nose. Or, sigh, I could be reading at an author signing from my book, The SEED. Check it out at my website: www.annrichduncan.com. After all, I need 30,000 more hits!!!!!
So, I’ve been working Second Shift now since late January. Transferring from one station to another. Learning to master a wire brush machine. Attempting to MollyDag (spray paint). Working at masking. Actually, I like masking. I’ve come to the conclusion that masking is a lot like writing. What is masking? It’s the application of special sticky tape to parts of an airplane engine, to protect that particular area from the Mollydag or any other coating(s) that must be applied to the part. Sounds simple but it’s not. You have to be precise. Lives depend on it!!! Gotta be good with a razor blade. Gotta have good hand/eye control. Otherwise it’s bandaid time. I only needed three bandaids tonight. (My trainer has four.) But why’s masking like writing? Well, when you write you have to choose the right words. With masking, you have to choose the right tape. Duh. Then you add more (tape or words), and cut some out (tape or words). Yikes . . . there’s a bubble in the tape! Rip it off. Start over. Yikes, there’s a scene that just doesn’t have pizzazz and your reader’s gonna get bored. Hit the delete. Start over. Or wait . . . maybe I can squooosh the tape a bit. And that boring scene? It just needs a . . . umh . . . how about a razor wielding maniac? Actually I might become one if I don’t go to bed. Good night. Don’t miss my books. There’s a novel of suspense and a YA historical adventure series. At: www.annrichduncan.com.
So I’ve spent the last week and a half Molydagging. Seriously! They say I’m good at it, but you can’t prove it by me. What’s Molydagging? It’s spraying this icky black tar-like paint onto vanes for airplanes. You can’t spray it too hard or too soft. You gotta get it just right. Then you have to wipe the excess off with QTips. If I stay on this job much longer I’m thinking I could make myself rich by investing in the Q Tip industry. It reminds me of writing. First you write too much. Then you edit. Then you realize you’ve gotta add more details. Then, eventually, you get it. Or not. Thank God for computers–otherwise, I’d be the reason for a sharp spike in the eraser industry. Speaking about God, I think I’d better start praying now, because next week they’re putting me on the masking detail. I’ll be handling seven-thousand dollar blades (or are they vanes?) — whatever they are, the boss said they shatter if you drop them. Imagine dropping a $7,000.00 vane? Good golly Molly! Maybe I’ll just pray that more people will buy my books. The SEED; Travel With Johnny Vic Through the Metals of Time; Johnny Vic’s Nautical Adventures; Johnny Vic’s Plymouth Adventures. Find them at: www.annrichduncan.com.
Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote, “Most people go to their graves with their songs still unsung.” It’s sad, but true, considering the number of people I’ve met who mention other people’s skills and/or success and then say, “I can’t do that. I’m not gifted..” God gave each and every one of us a gift. A talent, if you will. Just think of what this world would have missed if Holmes listened to that nasty little voice inside his head that I’m sure shouted out to him once in a while. I used to think that way. Whenever I thought about writing a novel, that voice would shout, “Who do you think you are? Mary Higgins Clark?” Of course, for the longest time, I’d respond, “No.” And I wouldn’t even try. It was Tony Robbins who turned me around. He said something to the effect that if you think negative thoughts you’ll lead a negative life. Think of your life as a table. Each positive thought is a leg or support for that table. Each negative thought takes away the support. Bingo! His book, “The Giant Within” was a terrifffffic help. Now, when that negative voice tries to get my attention, I say, “No, I’m not Mary Higgins Clark, I’m Ann Rich Duncan and God gave me talents, too!!!” And now? I have four books under my belt and an exciting literary agent who soon will be working on my behalf! (And who has been a keynote speaker at one of her conferences? Carol Higgins Clark! And this year, it’s Sandra Brown. Not bad! Shakespeare said it best: “Nothing is good or bad but that our thinking makes it so.” Happy writing! And, hey! Check out my books at www.annrichduncan.com!!!!!
Best thing I’ve learned about writing? It’s all about the pace. Especially with novels. “Sleigh” your readers–take ’em on a ride that’s enjoyable, exhilerating and memorable. Otherwise, you’re gonna “slay” them with boring, predictable, unrelenting prose. Best way to figure this out is to pull out your all-time favorite novel and study the first few paragraphs. Do they represent perfect examples of the “Queen’s English?” Prob’ly not. Most likely there’s a sentence ‘fragment’ or two, along with a ‘run-on’ sentence or two. Or three. I say have fun with it. Play with alliteration, rhyming, homophones, heteronyms. Whatever. Sleigh, slay. Sale, sail. Weigh, way. Tail, tale. Bratty Bobby burped. Cunning Connie Coped. Silly Sally slurped. And Moody Melvin moped. (After a few of these, nothing else you write could be worse verse . . . right?) Ha! I hope you read my novel, The SEED. Find it at www.annrichduncan.com.